Stocks head higher: Finally a little green after many days days of red. Dow is up more than 130 points in early trading.
More vacant office space: Nearly 2 million square feet was lost in the second quarter, pushing the U.S. vacancy rate to 17.4 percent, the highest level in 17 years. From the WSJ:
Job growth and office-space use are closely intertwined. While some major users of offices, such as federal regulatory agencies, have been expanding, big banks and corporations have lagged behind in increasing their real-estate footprint, according to some analysts. That is a sign that these larger companies have been slow to return to their pre-recession staffing levels, a contributing factor to the persistently high U.S. unemployment rate.
MySpace looks for new ad deal: Its $900-million contract with Google expiring next month, the Bev Hills-based social networking site is talking to Google and other companies about a narrower search-advertising partnership. From the WSJ:
News Corp. executives say they believe privacy and other concerns about Facebook leave an opening for MySpace to attract new users and business partners, though they also say MySpace doesn't expect or need to be as big as Facebook. Instead, MySpace says it is focused on Web surfers younger than 35, and is offering them a place to find new music, videos, games and other diversions, and to locate new people with similar interests.
Moguls head to Sun Valley: Allen & Co.'s annual conference has News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and dozens of other big-wigs talking up potential deals and partnerships. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is on the guest list for the first time in five years. (Bloomberg)
Oil prices keep bouncing: They're back up to $73 a barrel this morning, but some analysts are slashing price projections in the fourth quarter and 2011. There's just too much uncertainty about the economy. (AP)
Billionaire builds in Brentwood: Patrick Soon-Shiong keeps buying up properties in the Westgate Acres community. Together, they cover a little less than three acres, but he's keeping his plans under wraps. From the LAT:
Contracting companies and architects have been hired and fired. Construction trucks have sometimes brought traffic on local streets to a halt while security cameras posted near chain-link fences kept watch on comings and goings. The work is expected to take several more years. Such extravagant home projects are to be expected in Brentwood Park, the ritzy neighborhood to the west . Here, many longtime residents say, the obvious wealth seems out of place.
"Shrek" fading fast: The fourth and final film in the series from DreamWorks Animation is ending its domestic run with a thud. "Shrek: Forever After" grossed only $1.3 million during the holiday weekend, bringing its total to $240 million. That's $80 million or so less than the third installment. (LAT)
Little progress in port talks: Shipping companies and clerical workers remain at an impasse over job security guarantees. Negotiations are set to resume today. (KPCC)
Nearing a Miramax deal: Looks like David Bergstein and his backer Ron Tutor are close to buying the movie company from Disney. The Wrap reports that a final agreement might happen as soon as Thursday.
LAX observation deck to reopen: It's part of the Theme Building makeover. Deck had been closed after the 9/11 attacks. (KPCC)
Lacter on radio: This morning's biz chat with KPCC's Steve Julian look at the tourist business in L.A. Also at kpcc.org, podcast (Business Update with Mark Lacter), and Twitter (kpcclacter).